Staten Island’s loss is Brooklyn’s gain!
A charity group is salvaging appliances from Hurricane Sandy–damaged homes on the Rock and re-selling them for bargain basement rates at a new store in Gowanus, according to the organization’s head honcho.
“Most of the items we sell are at 50 percent retail value, so you’re looking at significant savings,” said Kimberly George of Rebuilding Together NYC, the local branch of a national organization that works with low-income homeowners.
The shop, Salvage Store, opened inside a re-purposed warehouse at 126 10th St. between Second and Third avenues on June 21.
The charitable group acquired its mega-discounted merch after building strong ties with the state through its work re-furbishing 100 Sandy-hit homes in Brooklyn, George said, which entitled it to first dibs on salvageable appliances from homes on Staten Island that were set for demolition as part of New York’s buyout program — a scheme in which the state purchased damaged residences not worth fixing because of their susceptibility to future floods.
Volunteers grabbed everything of value — including boilers, refrigerators, microwaves, laundry machines, and ovens — before giving the loot the old once-over to ensure it all worked okay.
And those buyers still worried about their second-hand washer going on the fritz will be taken care of in the event that it does conk out, George said.
“We have a very flexible return policy,” she said.
The shop’s inventory is not relegated to cheap appliances — it also sells discounted construction material donated by developers, which benefits local artists as much as do-it-yourself homeowners, George said.
“We have artists interested in re-purposing stuff for their artwork,” she said.
The Gowanus store’s opening follows years of Rebuilding Together operating out of a cramped Red Hook facility near Ikea, which it occupied since 2013 and was near-to-bursting with appliances due to it being so difficult for people to reach, according to George.
But while the new, larger space is a lot easier to get to, it’s not getting any bigger, she said.
“Unfortunately, we’ve already run out of space,” George said.